Law & Justice

Chatham Township Affordable Housing Could be Affected by Supreme Court "Gap" Ruling

Chatham Township Administrator Thomas Ciccarone brought up the Supreme Court's "Gap" ruling at the recent township committee meeting Credits: TAP Chatham

CHATHAM, NJ - It was acknowledged at the Chatham Township Committee meeting on Thursday that the recent state Supreme Court decision on affordable housing could affect Chatham Township's third round obligation of affordable housing, currently being litigated in court.

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that municipalities would need to include the "gap" period of 1999 to 2015 in calculating the third round of fair share affordable housing. 

"The Supreme Court, by unanimous decision said there is in fact a gap period," Thomas Ciccarone, township administrator, said. "The obligation for each municipality will have to include a calculation from 1999 to 2015. That was the so-called gap period that was in dispute. The court attempted also to give a little more guidance to the court on how the numbers should be calculated. What it means for us is a little early to tell."

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Ciccarone noted that the Supreme Court ruling was about 35 pages long and "fairly easy reading."

Thomas Ciccarone, township administrator, talks about the 35-page state Supreme Court ruling that will affect Chatham Township's third round of Fair Share Affordable Housing

"In all of our deliberations, we've been running two sets of numbers," Kevin Sullivan, committee member, said. "We don't know if it will be on the low end, the high end or in the middle."

The Chatham Township Committee passed two resolutions in November authorizing the planning board to "undertake a preliminary investigation for the redevelopment of approximately 3.8 acres of land," which is the area where the Chatham Skate Park is located. 

The second resolution refers a rezoning request for Dixiedale Farm to the planning board. The second resolution involves the sale of 30.33 acres of land, known as Dixiedale Farm, from Betsie Holt Harr to Sterling Properties

The two-step deal would allow the rezoning so that developer Sterling Properties, in partnership with Sun Homes, to build 54 residential units, including four on the second floor of the existing mansion on the property.

In exchange for the rezoning of the land, Sterling Properties and Sun Homes have offered to "provide the Township with a one-hundred percent affordable housing development on the 3.8 acres" owned by the Chatham Township next to the Chatham Township Police Department on Southern Boulevard.

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